Punjab is Considering Dropping a Price Bomb on Internet Users

Punjab province is considering to re-impose a minimum of 19 percent sales tax on internet usage in the province, we are told by sources who are aware of the development.

While it is yet not confirmed, our sources said that Punjab Revenue Board is looking at options to re-impose the GST on internet usage, that it had withdrawn after pressure from telecom companies, ISPs and internet users in the province.

You may recall that federal government — in its budget for year 2017-18 — proposed a tax cut for telecom sector by slashing FED from 18.5% to 17% and WHT from 14% to 12.5%. Alongside these, the Punjab government was expected to drop GST rates on cellular telephony services as well. However, it appears that they want to impose the tax on internet services again.

It seems like the Punjab Government thought of the tax break as a temporary exemption and is now looking to re-impose the taxes on internet usage.

It must be noted here that 14% advance tax on internet is applicable across the country and any internet consumption is subject to advance tax. If 19% internet tax is imposed in Punjab then one third of entire internet cost will just be the taxes.

We are told that regulatory bodies of telecom companies and ISPs are in touch with Punjab Finance Minister, however, a decision is likely to be reached with-in next couple of days and announcement is going to be made soon.

It would be interesting to note here that Punjab houses more than 50% of Pakistani population and same is the case for internet users for the province that account to some 56% of entire subscriber base of the country.

Update

Punjab Finance Minister and Punjab Revenue Board is meeting with telecom companies and ISPs to discuss the matter of exemption of GST of internet usage in the province, we have checked with sources.

From what we are hearing, it is imminent that Punjab will re-impose GST on internet usage.

Not to mention, KPK and Sindh were already charging GST on internet usage and if re-imposed by Punjab, the smaller provinces (KPK and Sindh) are never going to withdraw this tax in life.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • BC its all fault of PTI and PPP. Agar Punjab Govt ne Tax remove kar diya tha toh Imran Khan Kanj*r aur Zardari Begh*irat ko b chahiye tha k tax remove kar dyn, magar woh badmashon ki tarah tax lete rahay. Ab Showbaz Sharif ne b samjha ho ga k agar unko koi tension nai toh hum q apni kamaai ka zariyya band karyn. Wese toh barra syaana banta hai Imran khan internet pe tax laganay ki baar aqal ghaas charne gai hoti hai???

    • Smaller provinces need the money. Punjab get’s anything it needs from Federation unlike other provinces.

      • Ohhh really. Then why only in this Govt? Will you give excuse of Previous Federal govts?????

      • 21 topon ki salami bhai ap ki soch ko b (Y)
        DIE hard PTI walay lagty hy
        bhar hal PTCL user k lye kia TAX kia Internet
        humy tu ye pata hy month end me 1500 bill ajata hy or 30 me se 20 din 1218 py message ya call kar k complaint karny party hy

  • this will be a bomb of nuclear proportions. 50 percent of country will be affected and digital divide will increase. Punjab government was the last bastion of hope. Now that will be lost too.

    Umar Saif and his bunch of self aggrandising bureaucrats should stop fooling the nation that they are bringing IT revolution in Punjab. They are doing nothing but gimmicks with our tax payer money and same time have one feet on our back and trying to break our backs with more taxes. We don’t need more plan9 or frankly any more Umar Saif advertisements any more. We need withdrawal of all taxes on Internet so we can get SAME right to free information that the rich people in pakistan have.

    Very disappointed. Gov Punjab should remove all internet taxes and instead shut down Punjab it board. They will earn more in savings.

    • There will be no effect on MBB users. Like for 50 GB package all provinces users are paying 2500 on Jazz and Zong whilst there is no GST on Internet services in Punjab, why? From those 2500 Telecos are paying taxes to KPK and Sindh Govt but in Punjab they are putting whole amount in their own tummy. What will happen if Punjab Govt re impose tax? Will they increase MBB package prices only in Punjab? No, prices will remain same for users, only Telcos share will decrease. So this is good move by Punjab Govt.
      I know this is just a one side of the story, but a very important side of the story.
      Sorry but I have no soft feelings for Telecom operators.

      • I have no love lost for mobile operators who have millions of connections but for once I have gotten decent connection over fiber from ftth operators and I have lot of love for them. Their prices are low and their bandwidth has no limits. They are Pakistani companies like Transworld and Stormfibre. We should protect them.

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